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Nexsan NST for Financial Software Company
Overview: NST Selected for long term retention of financial reports

PIEtech, Inc. recently needed to purchase and deploy a storage solution with a superior ability to safely and securely store the millions of files it keeps as records for its clients – and to replicate the files among the company’s various disaster recovery sites. It selected a Nexsan storage system from Imation, and has been pleased with the quality storage it delivers. The company also spends less today on capital and operating expenses because of the Nexsan system and its value-add characteristics.

PIEtech, headquartered in Powhatan, Va., is dedicated to one thing: helping advisors use financial planning to more effectively motivate each client to create, implement and maintain an investment strategy that best meets their lifetime financial goals. The company’s software, MoneyGuidePro, is the first collaborative Internet-based financial planning software that makes this easy to accomplish. Its unique client-centered approach supports a sophisticated, goaloriented planning process that is more meaningful to the client and more productive for the advisor.

The IT Infrastructure Challenge


PIEtech’s subscribers produce literally millions of reports for their clients – files which are written once using the company’s software product, accessed occasionally and never re-written. In order to operate efficiently and comply with regulations, these documents must be stored and remain available within the PIEtech IT infrastructure for several years in case they are needed.

Two years ago, PIEtech initiated a review process and realized it needed a new storage solution that could:

  • Store large amounts of data reliably and accessibly, with the ability to scale capacity as needed.
  • Ensure file integrity among active and archive data for long periods of time.
  • Replicate entire volumes of data to disaster recovery sites – and ensure data and file integrity throughout that process.
  • Produce high-enough I/O rates to move the large volumes of data efficiently without bottlenecks, and minimize the amount of time and resources required to complete backups.
  • Operate with minimal regular maintenance, support, etc.


Our Nexsan solution runs hands-off; we have not yet had to intervene. It’s really easy to use to do what we need, and to manage the entire pool of storage.


Andrew Page, System Administrator, PIEtech

Seeking a low-maintenance, high-performance storage solution that is reliable and scalable

Solution at a Glance
Problem
  • Needs: to store large amounts of data reliably and accessibly, with the ability to scale capacity as needed
  • Ensure file integrity among active and archive data for long periods of time
  • Replicate entire volumes of data to disaster recovery sites – and ensure data and file integrity throughout that process
  • Produce high-enough I/O rates to move the large volumes of data efficiently without bottlenecks, and minimize the amount of time and resources required to complete backups
  • Operate with minimal regular maintenance, support, etc.
Solution
  • PIEtech purchased two Nexsan NST hybrid storage systems from Imation
Results

After a thorough research and testing process, PIEtech selected and purchased a pair of Nexsan NST hybrid storage systems from Imation. One system runs in the production environment, and the other runs in an offsite disaster recovery environment to enable replication. Among the above reasons, the main factors in the decision were the low cost per terabyte of the system, as well as the ease of management of the entire solution. The deployment was completed at once; in all, the process required no production downtime.

The Nexsan NST has exceeded expectations at pietech

The Nexsan NST hybrid storage system from Imation has exceeded expectations at PIEtech.

  • The system has stored, protected and replicated all files in the time the solution has been deployed; there have been no data or file integrity issues, and no problems accessing files if/when needed.
  • The solution has run without need of maintenance and minimal supervision and ongoing management.
  • The infrastructure was deployed without needing to purchase additional server hardware to make it work, saving the company around $40,000 – $50,000 immediately in capital expenses and even more from non-incurred operational expenses.
  • Backup times were significantly shortened, which has equated to a 10x reduction in related operational expenses.
  • When support people have been needed, they delivered quick and knowledgeable service while keeping the storage system online.

In particular, PIEtech has benefitted from their system’s ease of integration with its Windows environment. The storage is being used to archive data and replicate it to an offsite location. With the Nexsan NST hybrid storage systems, the company doesn’t have to include the archived data (currently about five terabytes) in any other disaster recovery strategy.


As PIEtech continues to grow, we will eventually need storage systems for database and other high-performance applications. Given our experience with Imation, we have every intention of moving forward with additional Nexsan storage to meet our needs.


Andrew Page, System Administrator, PIEtech